Thursday, September 23, 2010
I need you to mark a date for me. October 5. 6:00 pm. Hanover PA. What, you may ask, is happening then and there?
It's the annual Sheppard Mansion Harvest Dinner. If you've never been, it is this fantastic gathering of Sheppard Mansion patrons and some of the local farmers that supply the restaurant with their wares that end up as amazing food on the Mansion tables. We all mix and mingle, we spend the evening with old friends (Hi, Beldens!) and make some great new ones.
Still haven't called, huh? Well, then read on, friend. Just for you, I've compiled the...
Top 5 Reasons you should attend the 2010 Harvest Dinner at Sheppard Mansion!:
Number 5. Vino: This meal is going to be 6 courses, and EVERY COURSE HAS A WINE PAIRING! Oh yeah, lots of wine. But the actual consumption isn't the whole story folks. Here's the best part: The wines will be presented by a professional sommelier, so when you stroll in to work the next day, you can be in your Hotshot Wine Connoisseur mode. You can say things like "Well Nancy, at the Harvest Dinner last night, we had the most delightful Napa Pinot Noir from Erba Mountainside. It carried nutty tones and a citrus finish, which was the result of a combination of the drought in Napa in 2004, and the sea breezes coming off the Pacific. It was a masterpiece." Even if Ol' Nancy has a clue about wines, you're still going to sound AWESOME!
Number 4. Food: By now, you know that I'm a Chef Andy Groupie (T Shirts pending), so you won't be surprised when I tell you that the food that comes out of that kitchen will blow your mind. As I mentioned, we're looking at 6 courses, which can be seen here, and your tastebuds will discover things they never knew existed. Combine a discussion of Chef Andy's thought processes with a little background on the raw materials that go into the dish from the producers, and you'll be looking at dinner with a whole new perspective.
3. The Carriage House Market: I've kept pretty quiet about this until now, but there is going to be a very cool sneak peak before the actual dinner kicks off. This will be the first look at the Carriage House Market, located right there on the Mansion grounds. This market is the answer to all of you who longingly, impatiently, fervently wait for 6 long months through the winter until the farmers markets open again in the spring. Guess what: NOT THIS YEAR! The Carriage House Market is going to be open 4 days a week to feature all of the products that you've come to know and love from local producers, plus a whole bunch of other Food related goodies.
Number 2. Haiku: I heard a rumor that Chef Andy will personally present each course in the form of Japanese poetry known as Haiku. But this is a small town, and you know how rumors are...
Finally, the #1 reason you should attend the Sheppard Mansion 2010 Harvest Dinner: The Wager.
Chef Andy and I have a friendly little wager going. You see, he bet me that I couldn't get 10 reservations for the Harvest Dinner. I emphatically assured him that I could. So here's the bet: If 10 people call the Sheppard Mansion and make a reservation for the 2010 Harvest Dinner, and mention that they are with "Team Ramsburg", Chef Andy buys me a fifth of Johnny Walker Black Scotch. If I don't reach the 10 res. mark, I buy Little a bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Now here's what's in it for you--that bottle of Scotch? I'm gonna share it with the rest of Team Ramsburg. If Little wins...well, I just can't make any guarantees...you know how he is with his Bourbon...
Sign up now folks! Don't make me start calling you out by name, which I WILL do! Get the Details Here! See you there!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Do the pigs from which your pork is derived live this well?
The pigs, just tearing into a new strip of corn. A little spooky, if you didn't know the pigs...
The pigs arrange themselves by pecking order--the boss pigs get their choice of feeding locations. This guy must be low man on the totem pole.
The pigs grab the stalk, and snap it off to get the ear...
...Because the ears are the first to go, cob and all.
Berkshire X Tamworth Crossbred pigs. The mud is their cooling mechanism--I purposely provide wallows for them to keep themselves cool in. An overheated pig is a dead pig.
The corn leaves are also highly desirable to the pigs, as long as they are still green.